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Three New Deals: Reflections on Roosevelt's America, Mussolini's Italy, and Hitler's Germany, 1933-1939 1st Edition

12 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0805074529
ISBN-10: 080507452X
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Editorial Reviews


“Controversial, well written, and convincing, this is historical analysis at its most invigorating.” ―Minneapolis Star-Tribune

“Schivelbusch is a brilliant cultural historian . . . who brings a comparative cultural focus to the 1930s with fascinating and provocative ideas.” ―Los Angeles Times Book Review

“Illuminating.” ―Bloomberg News

“A feast of ideas, many of them strikingly appropriate to our own bellicose times.” ―San Francisco Chronicle on The Culture of Defeat

“Fresh and provocative . . . A novel and thought-provoking book.” ―Houston Chronicle on The Culture of Defeat

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Wolfgang Schivelbusch, winner of the Heinrich Mann Prize, Germany's most prestigious nonfiction award, is an independent scholar who divides his time between New York and Berlin. His books include The Railway Journey, Disenchanted Night, and The Culture of Defeat (0-312-42319-5), called "a work of brooding brilliance" by The
New York Times.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Metropolitan Books; 1st edition (August 22, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080507452X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805074529
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 1 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #876,220 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

53 of 56 people found the following review helpful By T. Berner on September 26, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Mr. Schivelbusch, in this remarkably well researched and startling book draws parallels between the programs and leadership styles of Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini and Franklin Roosevelt. He shows how many similarities there were to be found between each of these very different men. His purpose is not to demonize FDR, excuse the Nazis and Fascists or even to mitigate the failure of the average German and Italian to stand up their leaders. It is, rather, to provide a warning to the future that populism can shift from the benign to the monstrous. It is must reading for the general reader.

Having been a fan of Mr Schivelbusch's varied work for many years, I recently had the opportunity to dine with him at the home of friends of mine. I was interested to learn that he was a man of the Left, whose views were very different from mine. It is a tribute to his ability as a scholar that I never would have guessed his affiliations. He follows the truth where he finds it and never lets his own biases seep into his work.

He is a careful and diligent researcher. By way of example, T. Harry Williams' Pulitzer Prize winning biography of Huey Long merely casts doubt on those who attribute to Long the most famous of his quotes to the effect that "when Fascism comes to America, it will come in the guise of anti-Fascism." Williams does not make any serious attempt to track down the origin of the attribution, something you would expect from the author of a nearly 1000 page biography. In this short work, in a learned and careful footnote, Schivelbusch offers a variety of possible sources for this quote. THAT is careful research!

I highly recommend Three New Deals.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Future Watch Writer on January 25, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a truly brilliant book. It highlights the fact that political and economic crises often produce similar results, specifically a centralization of state power. Some people may not like this book because it suggests similarities between Roosevelt's New Deal and Fascism. However, the point here is not to suggest Roosevelt was racist or antisemitic (a totally idiotic notion) but to focus on the much larger issue of the use of state power in a crisis. The book has important lessons for the future. The current world order is doing a very poor job is dealing with deadly threats like the global environmental crisis. In a new series of world crises there is likely to be a huge centralization of power. Albert Speer once observed that when fascism comes back, it will come back as anti-fascism. The larger issue here is totalitarianism and its potential role in the world future.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Brian A. Schar VINE VOICE on November 17, 2008
Format: Paperback
"Three New Deals" is an interesting book about the similarities and differences between FDR's New Deal, Mussolini's fascism, and Hitler's fascism. Certainly all three were different from one another. But it's quite an eye-opener to read about the mutual admiration across the three in the 1930s, particularly between some of FDR's advisors and the Mussolini camp. This is also a relatively short book; a quick read that doesn't belabor the point or wear out its welcome. Those with an interest in politics or WWII history will be interested in at least checking this out from the library.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Philip Gleason on December 28, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Schivelbusch is an excellent analyst of political culture. He compares Roosevelt's new deal with Mussolini's Fascism and Hitler's National Socialism. The book is not a smear of Roosevelt, but rather an examination of how the prevailing political ideals of rationality and organization were implemented in the three countries. There is also thoughtful analysis of the use of media, radio in the US and rallies in Europe.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Efrem Sepulveda on December 21, 2011
Format: Paperback
Wolfgang Schivelbusch presents an interesting argument over 189 pages plus an extensive index regarding the parallels of the governments of Franklin Roosevelt's America, Hitler's Germany and Mussolini's Italy. The author goes through great lengths to state that FDR was not the monster that Hitler and Mussolini were. Nevertheless, each dealt with the effects of the Great Depression in similar ways. Schivelbusch states that all three had great leadership skills to convey their messages to the masses. Hitler and Mussolini used mass rallies to stoke the people while FDR used the power of radio to assure his audience through the difficult times. Each leader effectively used propaganda to their benefit. Germany used its sources effectively through the efforts of Goebbels by stating that the state needed to diagnose the soul of the people and assess its needs. Both Germany and the America used symbols to convey their programs including America's use of the NRA's Blue Eagle campaign which used rallies and draconian codes to "psych" the populace into compliance.

Each country used a "back to the land" campaign whereby all of the countries thought that capitalism cause men to flock to the cities and lose their soul. An urging to return people to the country to farm the land and build mini-factories to encourage self-sufficiency on a small scale away from the large cities. America engaged in a failed experiment by building a model town of Arthurdale, West Virginia which illustrated its efforts of putting its"small is beautiful" philosophy into practice. Finally, the author compares each country's creation of public works to get the people back to work. Hitler's Autobahn, Mussolini's draining of the Pontine Marshes and FDR's TVA project are compared.
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